• Watching lesser-known Middle-earth stories on screen is thrilling, legal boundaries can complicate these adaptations.
  • “The Music of the Ainur” uncovers Middle-earth’s creation story, “The Fall of Gondolin” delves into tragic tales.
  • Stories like “Beren & Lúthien” and “The Scouring of the Shire” offer romance, action, and courage adapted for the big screen.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote several stories set in Middle-earth aside from The Lord of the Rings, and many of them would make great stand-alone movies. The film The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim takes advantage of one such story, outlining the tale of Helm Hammerhand, a king of Rohan who ruled 160 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. This will allow audiences to see other events of Middle-earth aside from the story of the One Ring – and other such stories have just as much potential.

Of course, the legal aspects of Tolkien’s estate make this far more complicated. Another Lord of the Rings adaptation, Prime Video’s The Rings of Power, has had to jump through hoops to bring stories of the Second Age to the screen since Amazon only has rights to some of Tolkien’s works and not others. In the case of some of these Middle-earth stories, the legal rights make them difficult, if not impossible, to adapt. Regardless, it’s fun to imagine these lesser-known Lord of the Rings stories making it to the screen.

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10 The Music of the Ainur

Middle-earth’s Creation Story

An illustration of Eru Iluvatar

Also called the Ainulindalë, “The Music of the Ainur” is essentially the creation story of Middle-earth. It tells how the god of The Lord of the Rings, Eru Iluvatar, conceived the song of creation, which the Ainur – the demigod Valar and angel-like Maiar – sang. Each added their own thoughts and will to the song, and the result was the creation of the world. The Valar Melkor (AKA Morgoth) sang evil into the world, which was essentially the birth of all the misfortune that spread into The Lord of the Rings. It would be fantastic to see this play out on screen, especially if The Music of the Ainur was animated like War of the Rohirrim.

9 The Flight Of The Ñoldor

The Arrival Of The Ñoldor In Middle-Earth


“The Flight of the Ñoldor” is a chapter within The Silmarillion that outlines how a group of Elves called the Noldor came to Middle-earth from Valinor (though they weren’t supposed to). These Elves, of which Galadriel was a member, were led by one of the most notorious Elves in Tolkien canon, Fëanor – the creator of the Silmarils. Morgoth stole these precious and highly coveted stones, and Fëanor led his people to Middle-earth in a doomed effort to retrieve them. This story has tragedy, hubris, and a whole lot of death – everything necessary for an exciting Lord of the Rings movie.

8 The Fall Of Gondolin

A Story Of Betrayal, War, & Hope

The Fall of Gondolin Tolkien book cover (1)

“The Fall of Gondolin” is another memorable and tragic story from The Silmarillion and was later published as its own stand-alone book. Gondolin was an ancient Noldorin city, hidden away from Morgoth in the First Age of Middle-earth. This location becomes the center of another of Tolkien’s epic love stories, the Man Tuor and the Elf Idril, but after a character named Maeglin betrays Gondolin’s location to Morgoth, it is attacked by Orcs, Dragons, and Balrogs. The city is ultimately destroyed, but Tuor and Idril manage to escape, surviving on to give birth to Eärendil, who would be critical in Morgoth’s downfall.

7 Beren & Lúthien

Tolkien’s Greatest Romance

Perhaps the greatest of Tolkien’s love stories, “Beren and Luthien,” is another chapter within The Silmarillion that later became its own book. This is the couple (a Man and Elf) that Aragorn and Arwen are frequently compared to in The Lord of the Rings, another reason it would be a valuable stand-alone film. The story details the journey taken by this couple to retrieve one of the Silmarils and earn the blessing for their marriage. Unfortunately, the journey kills the mortal Beren, and Luthien dies from her grief. This would be another movie that would be extraordinary in animation, like War of the Rohirrim.

6 Fram’s Defeat Of Scatha The Worm

A Hobbit-Like Story With A Less Happy Ending

Smaug in Erebor from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

As beautiful as romances like Beren and Luthien would be on screen, something with a bit more action, like War of the Rohirrim, could be more of what audiences are looking for. For this reason, the story of Fram and Scatha the Worm could make for a perfect film. Like Smaug, Scatha was a dragon that claimed ownership of a hoard of Dwarven gold. He was slain by Fram, the Lord of the Éothéod, but when he claimed the gold as his own, it caused a fatal conflict between his kingdom and the Dwarves.

5 Eärendil and Elwing

The Heroic Tale Of Elrond’s Parents

rings of power elrond lord of the rings elwing and earendil

Eärendil and Elwing are yet another memorable romance from Tolkien canon. Both having been born from the union between Elves and Men, they were unique champions of the ongoing conflict between the two races and crucial in the War of Wrath and Morgoth’s downfall. Though their story has several key points, the most significant aspect is their triumphant arrival in Valinor, where they begged the Valar to intervene and take down Morgoth. This, especially, would be exciting to see on screen.

Eärendil and Elwing’s reward for saving Middle-earth was the choice for themselves and their descendants to become mortal, something their son Elros, and granddaughter, Arwen, took the Valar up on.

John Rhys Davies as Gimli in The Lord of the Rings Eagles in the Hobbit and Morgoth in Rings of Power


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4 The Children of Húrin

The Tragic Curse Against Húrin’s Children

Another chapter of The Silmarillion that was turned into its own novel, The Children of Húrin tells the story of a Man whose family is cursed by Morgoth to be plagued by evil for all their lives. This story would be a little more challenging to contain within a stand-alone movie (a Lord of the Rings TV series might be better). Still, between the various battles involving Orcs and dragons, the betrayals, romances, and tragedies, it could make for a beautiful adaptation. Of course, it would all lead to the heartbreaking moment in which Hurin is left mourning at his children’s graves as his wife dies in his arms.

3 The Story Of The Dunédain

Aragorn’s Full Backstory Unfolded

In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn is a member of the Dunédain, descendants of the Numenoreans who escaped their island kingdom’s downfall and settled in Middle-earth in the Second Age. Though The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is sure to explore the Dunédain’s early days led by Elendil and the establishment of Gondor and Arnor, it would be interesting to see their stories throughout the Third Age of Middle-earth, leading into Aragorn’s birth and upbringing. Tolkien wrote about this in the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, so there should be plenty for prospective films to go off of.

2 The Scouring Of The Shire

Frodo, Sam, Merry, & Pippin Lead The Shire In Battle

It’s a story of courage and true Hobbit longevity.

“The Scouring of the Shire” was one of the last chapters of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King book, but the story was left out of Peter Jackson’s film. Therefore, it could make the perfect addition as a stand-alone movie. Unlike the movie, Frodo and the other Hobbits didn’t return to a virtually unchanged Shire. Instead, they found that Saruman had industrialized the place, and they had to inspire their people to rise up against the Man-thugs who had been exploiting the Hobbit’s labor. It’s a story of courage and true Hobbit longevity.

1 Dagor Dagorath

The Final Battle & End Days Of Middle-earth

A painting describing the Dagor Dagorath battle

Dagor Dagorath was less a story and more a prophecy about the end days of Middle-earth. Still, Tolkien went into enough detail about how this was all supposed to play out that it could feasibly be reconstructed into a movie. Roughly translating to “the last battle,” Dagor Dagorath would see the return of Morgoth and a massive battle between this darkest of lords and the Valar. The villain would finally be slain, but the fight would also result in the death of virtually all living beings in Middle-earth and Valinor, making it an unorthodox ending for a potential Lord of the Rings movie.


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